ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON?

09/13/2016

morning_personI am a wannabe morning person. As much as I enjoy starting my day early, while everyone else is still asleep, I would much prefer to stay up late—while everyone else sleeps. I tend to think better late at night, and I think I am more productive and work faster, too.

I do, however, admire those friends of mine that are up before dawn, who have already completed their twilight run (yes, they do that!), morning cup of coffee and avocado toast, shower, and are ready to roll by the time my alarm is buzzing. I have never been a morning person, even as a child. I think it may be because my mother was not a morning person. We are always running late—always—and always in a rush. I also recall my grandparents going to bed at a very early hour—I lived with them in Arizona off and on as a kid. They would go to bed right after Jeopardy at 7 pm, and then would wake up at 4:30 every morning. I’ve always wondered why they chose this sleep schedule, but I know there’s something magical about early mornings. I’ve done it, and can appreciate the calm and solitude.

Making the switch seems so appealing, but I think I would have a hard time giving up my late night lifestyle. It’s my “me time” and with four kids and a non-stop work schedule, I am pretty set in my ways. That being said, I would love to start going to sleep a little earlier and waking up with the sun to meditate, workout, read, make breakfast, etc.

Are you an earlier riser? Any tips on how to restructure your sleep cycle? Please share with me below!

Photo by Venetia Scott.

38 comments

  • Heather

    I’ve read that if you do something for 15 days in a row, it becomes a habit. I’ve never tested this theory but it might just work!

  • kate

    with you, sister! growing up, my dad used to call me “the professional sleeper” – pulling and stretching my limbs was required in the morning just to get my little self up and out of bed. ha! i’ve always gotten my best work done, and have had the most motivated, productive streaks during the night/late hours. though i admit, mornings are so special – sunrises are so much softer than sunsets, it seems – waking from the quiet instead of setting on the noise. but i say, why break what works best for you, unless it is absolutely necessary? makes those rare early mornings so much more precious – and while you might feel jealous of your friends who easily get out of bed at the crack of dawn to get things done, don’t you get the same use of your night hours when the effort is put forward? perhaps they see your reverse habits in the same way you see theirs :) i am forever in awe of morning people – my body just is not primed for greatness (or cardio, or talking) before the sun rises – so i leave those things for the evening. xo

  • Adrienne

    Middle school caused me to hate mornings. I had to catch a bus at 6:30 am so you can imagine the trouble my dad had in getting me to rise. After kids, I still hated mornings until I realized I hated the feeling of waking up, hitting the floor running even more. I do love the calm of getting up first. I simply had to start forcing myself to get up early then it became a routine.

    My husband and I recently started using the website sleepyti.me which helps you calculate when to get to bed or when to rise based on 90-minute sleep cycles. This could help you get to bed at a time (even late) and then get up without feeling zombified. Hope that helps! :)

  • Mindy

    Magnesium!! I take 600 mg a night and it’s an instant body relaxer. I take in conjunction Zinc, but you can’t take to two together (wont digest properly) so take Zinc in the day and your magnesiums at night an hour before bed. Works like a dream, literally.

  • Sarah

    I’m in a similar boat. I’ve always been a night owl but you’re right, there’s something so magical about those early morning hours that I really want to make the switch myself.

    There’s part of an e.e. cummings poem that goes,

    “I miss you in the dawn, of gradual flowering lights / And prayer-pale stars that pass the drowsing-incensed hymns, / When early earth through all her greenly-sleeping limbs / Puts on the exquisite gold day.”

    Isn’t that so beautiful? May it inspire us to roll out of bed just a bit earlier tomorrow.

  • kayla

    I highly recommend getting a set of hue smart bulbs. You can set them to a sunrise setting and they wake you up gently (like a real sunrise!) I was skeptical at first that they would work, but they work like a charm!! It amazes me every time.

  • ashley

    I used to totally be a night person, until I spent a year and a half living in Costa Rica. The daylight hours are so short, so I always wanted to make the most of it. I’d get up with the sun, and go drink my coffee on the beach. Now it’s become I habit, even having returned back to Canada, and I treasure my early mornings of solitude.

  • Brandie C.

    Read Miracle Morning!!!! Excellent read to motivate the transition to early mornings!!!

  • Riana

    I have recently become a morning person. I found out that I actually work best in the morning (I’m in grad school) and that by the evenings my mind is fuzzy and I’d rather be Netflixing. It’s a trade off though. I go to bed earlier and sacrifice the certain, silent magic of being the only one awake at 3 am!

  • Victoria

    I’m like you — I’m a night owl! In the evenings my mind is always buzzing with ideas and it’s hard to go to bed early. But one thing that has helped me feel sleepy earlier was installing a blue light-blocking program onto my computer. I realized that I was usually staring at a screen before I went to bed and the blue light emittance was tricking my mind into thinking it was still day, therefore I had a harder time falling asleep each night. (This article explains it all! http://blog.freepeople.com/2016/05/world-yellowtinted-glasses/) I also find having something to look forward to each morning gives me the motivation to wake up earlier. :)

  • Christelle

    I’m not, and I’m obliged to wake up very early because of my job (at 6), and I love seeing the sun coming and the sky changing with dawn.

  • Kelly

    hi James,

    since the beginning of the summer, i try to go to bed before midnight _ i was used to reach my bed at 2:30 _ to get up at the same time as the sun.
    it was so cool to enjoy sunrises during two months, here in France or during our road trip in Cali… but now the sun is laaazy & if i keep his time i will be late every damned day.
    so ! my new routine is bed before midnight & with luck 11:00 pm to 5:30 am with yoga or read time & sometimes laundry room moment at sunrise.
    the more important is to be, calm & peacefull before the rush.
    & if my body wants i give him a morning nap _ weird but intense before 7:00 am.

    fuerza mama !

    Kelly

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Whilst I’m certainly no authority on sleep cycles, I would imagine the best way to try to restructure it, is to do so infinitesimally, going to bed 15mins earlier than the night before, each night until you’re falling asleep earlier and earlier. Also, resisting the urge to get frustrated when you’re lying in bed and not able to fall asleep, just being relaxed and knowing that you’re body is resting, even if not asleep, is a massive improvement from still being active at 2am.

    I am an early riser, but I used to be a night owl, I find I get more done when I rise early and am generally more positive too – mainly because I feel like I’ve been present for the day, rather than waking at 1pm and realising how much of it is gone already!

    Rxx
    http://www.peppermintdolly.com

  • Heidi Petré

    Take a look at Vicky Vlachonis website & book http://www.vickyvlachonis.com/pain-faqs/
    She has some real good advice about sleep- and morning routines Hopes it helps you in finding a balance between day and night. I have the same issues :-) Love from Belgium! Heidi

  • Tina

    I´ll try everyday to be a morning kind of person…..I hope to reach that goal as soon as possible

  • Kacie

    I WISH I was a morning person. But I just love sleep so much. I go to bed at 10, but still want to sleep until as late as I can… which is usually 7am. I’m attempting to start getting up earlier (at 6am) so I can have a cup of coffee, and do a quick mediation, maybe even get dressed before the kids are up. But between moving to England and being pregnant I haven’t had the balls to set my alarm for 6am yet….

  • Sandra

    We are not an early family either. I noticed how, when we are on holidays, everyone grooves into a much later schedule than the one we have on regular days. What can you do when school starts at 8:00?
    I tried to rise earlier (like 5:30), but I feel 6:00 am is the most I can possibly handle. And then I get sort of jealous, when I am the only person buzzing around, making school sandwiches, getting ready, thinking of this and that, while everyone else (meaning: my husband) is still turning around in bed, when he has been falling asleep on the couch the night before, while I was still doing laundry… I need to mention, that I am working full time.
    But I am also very productive in late hours, and have to stop myself around 10 pm, because if I start something then, I might get going and will be in bed too late, so that I will be tired the next day. When I feel exhausted, I really tell myself to go to sleep early (which is 9:30 – 10 pm), to catch up on sleep. It feels luxurious and refreshing to go to sleep really early at least once a week. I do that Wednesdays. That is my Yoga-night. I am so relaxed (and sore) after that, that I go straight to bed the same time as the kids do (8 pm). Not much to do after yoga. :-)

  • Tumi

    Yeah….I’m one of those crazy early risers. I’m usually up by 4:30am-5am and bedtime is 8:30pm most days. I personally feel so amazing in the early mornings–it really is a magical time, everything is possible at that moment, a newborn day and it’s when I love to meditate. While I’m a morning lark, I work a lot with night owls and one thing I’ve noticed is that if you want to be more of a morning person, you probably have that in you more than you realize, even if you’ve “always been an night person.” At the end of the day (ha!) we are creatures of habit, and I’ve seen self-avowed night owls transform to morning birds. Two things that I think that are really helpful to restructure one’s sleep cycle are 1) turning of screen– computer/TV etc at least an hour before bedtime and making that hour all about winding down, whether its a bath, or reading with the kids or relaxing music. And 2) setting an alarm to GO to bed (rather than the alarm to wake up). So if you go to bed at midnight right now, move your bedtime to 11pm, set your alarm (by alarm, i mean maybe a meditation bell sound, something pleasant not jarring) for 10pm and then segue into your wind-down bedtime rituals.

  • Talida

    I used to think I wasn’t a morning person, but as a mother of three small children, I just had to follow their schedule. I first changed the kids’ bedtime, so it increased the time my husband and I had together in the night. They’re in bed by 7:30
    But the most important switch happened when I actually changed my mind about “me-time” timing. I could choose to have it in the evenings, which would benefit me a lot, or I could choose to have it in the morning, before anybody else was awake (and demanding) and that benefited me a lot, but also benefited the rest of my family who would find me in the mornings already recharged, rather than grumpy and sleepy.
    Start with the smallest change that you can do. Stop working when the kids come back from school. Spend time together. Prepare as much as possible the night before.
    I now wake up at 4:30 and I cherish the silence and the feeling that I am taking care of myself first.

  • Cynthia

    I’m not sure you can fight/change a night owl tendency. But something that worked for me was this…when my sons were school-age, I always tucked them in with sitting aside their beds, rubbing their backs. If I was extra tired, I simply laid down and took a nap. When I popped up at 9, I’d get a second wind until 11 or so for my “me” time. This nap a few times a week enabled me to still get up at 5, always waking just minutes before my alarm went off. Also it didn’t hurt to have a coffee maker back in the day that was programmed to have my coffee ready at 5 so I could grab a cup to take in the shower! Good luck as there seems no way around getting up early when you four children in school!

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